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Old 01-12-2013, 05:42 PM   #1
schmen
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ECS tensioner adjustment?

Chasing some belt slip, I just got back from quite a few pulls on the highway after swapping from the Maggie HD tensioner to the ECS tensioner and the belt slip is A LOT worse with the ECS than it was with the Maggie. Im sure its because I need to adjust the tension, and or get a different belt size but have a few questions:

1. Belt size: I used the gates HD green belt I had in the garage, which is 101 inch and it BARELY squeezed on (had to carefully pry it over the pulley with a screwdriver, when the tensioner arm was bottomed out using a breaker bar). This had terrible results. I then tried moving the position of the tensioner arm by using different mounting holes on the ECS plate that is mounted to the water pump and cylinder head, so that it wasnt such a struggle to get the belt on...still the same results.

Then I did the same thing with a 99 inch gatorback belt, trying it is multiple poistions on the ECS mounting plate with better results, but not as good as my Maggie HD tensioner.

2. I have read that the tensioner needs to be on the "tighter setting", I dont see where this thing is adjustable at all, besides the different holes on the plate. What am I missing? In the pic below I can see that there looks to be two different notches at the base of the tensioner arm, in the very center. Do you change to the other notch seen there?

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Old 01-13-2013, 06:35 AM   #2
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Someone has to know what Im talking about here. Ive read a bout 20 different threads that all mention proper tension, using the "tighter setting", proper belt length, all good info. But, no one has mentioned how to achieve this tighter setting.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:10 PM   #3
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^Yeah exactly my thoughts, this tensioner arm has very minimal range of motion.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:32 PM   #4
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I am not sure about the tighter settings. I have not had any issues with belt slip though. I am not spinning mine very quick though. I just have the 3.0 pulley on the front and the rest is stock.

Here is a video of where mine is at when I first installed it.

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Old 01-13-2013, 06:46 PM   #5
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It looks like yours is mounted up in the position that allows the tensioner arm to swimng as low as possible. I tried that way, and had slip still.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:58 AM   #6
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Mines tighter than the proverbial water fowl's sphincter. No slip at all (3.2" front pulley)

There should be some travel once the belts on. If you can't get it tight enough, or tensioners bottoming out get a longer/shorter belt.
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:20 AM   #7
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I've tried a lot of different lengths, I want to know using one set of mounting holes on the ECS plate is better than the others (for more tension) and also if the tensioner arm has different settings.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:04 AM   #8
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Just wanted to add - make sure there's not too much tension on the belt, or you will start suffering bearing failures.
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:55 AM   #9
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Definitely, you use or at least used to use an ECS tensioner didn't you? If so what does everyone mean by "make sure you use the tighter setting"?
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:56 AM   #10
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The ECS can be installed in two positions. One position will never provide enough tension on the belt. One does.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:01 AM   #11
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That's what I've heard, these two positions are referring to which holes you Bolt the tensioner arm to on the bracket right? Or is there a way to change the gears on the tension arm itself?
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:16 AM   #12
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Just the bolt holes and how its bolted onto the engine.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:54 AM   #13
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There are two sets of holes in the tensioner bracket that mount the tensioner arm to it. These two positions only change how much the tensioner arm is preloaded against the belt. You basically do the same tensioner arm preloading by using different length belts. So it really does not matter which "Position" the tensioner arm is mounted in as long as you have the correct belt length that produces 35+ ft/lbs of tension.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:03 AM   #14
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I also want to point out that you should not setup the tensioner so that the arm is bottomed out and expect it to function properly. The tensioner arm needs to be able to move down at least an inch when the belt is fitted so that it has enough downward travel to accommodate the belt stretching and returning to normal size when you rev the engine and then quickly lift off the throttle. No matter what belt you use it WILL stretch and contract under load. The tensioner needs to be able to move up and down enough to compensate for this or it will jump off the pulleys. The other thing to consider is that when the tensioner arm bottoms out all of the extra belt force wanting to pull it down will bend the tensioner arm. This will put the pulley at a bad angle and then you will have congenital belt jumping/throwing issues.
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:58 AM   #15
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Good info thanks man.
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:14 PM   #16
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I had great luck with a 100.5 inch Gator back belt on my 2.6 pulley. Arm is about 90 degrees with decent travel. I was told the same thing that too tight would cause slip as well.
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:23 AM   #17
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I recently had your exact issue.
after installing an ECS Tensioner I THOUGHT I had more or the same belt slip. What is actually happening to me is .... Now that I have cured the front pulley slippage , I now have rear pulley slippage. In my case it was an easier diagnosis as there was a distinct sound that was not like the previous slippage sound. I would suggest that you verify where the slip is coming from by monitoring the belt dust etc..

Additional note: I am one of he few people have had bad results with the Gatorback belts, before the rear pulley slip started to happen I did have continued front pulley slip even with the ECS tensioner. I swapped out for my Gates and I was able to feel the difference right away. The rear pulley slip was evident as it happened only at high RPM. The ECS tensioner held the front better than I expected.

Just a thought .... Check the rear.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:31 AM   #18
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Well once again CHA-LEE was right, after alot of testing it doesnt matter which way you have the tensioner arm mounted. Found out great news, after chasing what I thought was belt slip forever, turns out my bypass valve is faulty. Disconnected it and car makes 9-10 PSI consistently through out the RPM range.
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